Farberware is a popular kitchen appliance brand that has been making high-quality products since 1900. One of their classic devices is the electric percolator coffee maker.
Percolators brew coffee by continuously cycling boiling water through coffee grounds using gravity and pressure. This results in a bold, robust cup of coffee that many people love.
However, using a percolator properly is key to getting the best-tasting brew. Farberware’s stainless steel percolators are durable and reliable, but require some technique.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to master your Farberware percolator. We’ll cover:
- How to use a Farberware percolator works
- Step-by-step instructions for using it
- Pro tips for making great coffee
- How much coffee to use
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Troubleshooting common problems
Follow along and you’ll be brewing delicious, aromatic coffee in your Farberware percolator in no time. Let’s get started.
- 12-cup capacity
- BREW UP TO 12 CUPS of hot, flavorful and fresh coffee or tea in less than a minute per cup. Using the simple On/Off…
A Farberware percolator brews coffee by cycling boiling water through the grounds using an internal pumping system. Here are the main components and how they work together:
- Perforated tube – This tube contains small holes and extends from the bottom to the top of the percolator. When water boils at the bottom, it is pumped up through the tube and disperses over the coffee grounds.
- Coffee basket – The grounds are placed in a small round basket at the top of the percolator. The hot water disperses over the grounds, extracting flavor.
- Spreader – This lid sits over the coffee basket and helps evenly distribute the water over all the grounds.
- Chamber – The main body of the percolator where the water boils and cycles through continuously.
- Heating element – Located at the bottom, this heats the water to a boil. Some models have an automatic temperature control.
- Cord – Plugs into an outlet to power the heating element.
Unlike drip machines which only pass water through the grounds once, a percolator repeatedly recycles the water, resulting in a stronger extraction.
The constant boiling also creates steam which helps extract oils and flavor. This produces an intense, robust coffee.
The cycling action stops when the coffee reaches the desired strength, determined by automatic timers on some models or manually turning off the heat. Then the percolator switches to a “keep warm” mode.
How to Use a Farberware Percolator
Follow these steps to brew great tasting coffee in your Farberware percolator:
1. Wash the percolator
Disassemble all the parts – basket, spreader, lid, tube. Wash them along with the inside of the percolator chamber with warm soapy water.
Rinse everything thoroughly. This removes any dust or residue from manufacturing and packaging.
2. Fill with water
Fill the percolator chamber with cold water up to the desired number of cups. Don’t exceed the maximum fill line.
Use fresh, filtered water for the best flavor.
3. Add coffee grounds
Place the desired amount of coarsely ground coffee into the basket. A good standard is 2 tablespoons per cup of water.
Tap the basket gently to evenly distribute the grounds.
4. Reassemble and brew
Place the spreader on top of the grounds. Insert the basket back into the percolator.
Plug in the percolator and turn it on. Let the water boil and start cycling through the grounds.
5. Serve the coffee
When the percolating sound starts to fade, the coffee is ready. Unplug the percolator and carefully remove the hot basket.
Pour the brewed coffee into mugs or a carafe. Add milk, sugar, or creamer as desired.
6. Clean up
Discard any leftover coffee grounds. Rinse the percolator chamber, basket, and parts with clean water.
Let the parts air dry completely before next use.
Following this straightforward process will help you easily make delicious coffee in your Farberware percolator every time.
Choosing the Right Grind Size
Using coffee that is ground to the proper consistency is key for percolator coffee.
You’ll want a coarse grind, where the grounds are about the size of kosher salt grains. This allows just enough flavor extraction without overextraction.
A fine, powdery grind can actually lead to bitter, overextracted coffee in a percolator. The continuous cycling of the water will pull out too many flavors from a fine grind.
With a coarse grind, the short bursts of hot water will extract the perfect amount of oils and flavors.
Use a burr grinder, either manual or electric, to get a uniform coarse grind size for percolator coffee.
Blade grinders tend to produce an irregular mix of fine and coarse particles. The uneven extraction from this can result in poor tasting coffee.
Some examples of quality burr coffee grinders are:
- Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
- SPECIALTY COFFEE ASSOCIATION AWARD WINNING GRINDERS – Baratza grinders are preferred by coffee professionals and backed…
- Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder
- The Bistro Burr Grinder consistently crushes beans between stainless steel conical burrs. This process also preserves…
- OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- Stainless steel conical burrs create uniform grounds for optimal flavor
If using pre-ground coffee, choose a grind labeled as “coarse”. Avoid espresso or turkish fine grind blends.
Check the consistency by rubbing some grounds between your fingers. It should feel gritty, not smooth like powder.
Getting the grind right is crucial for maximizing the flavor of your percolator coffee. Aim for a coarse, kosher salt-like texture. This prevents overextraction and bitterness
Using the Keep Warm Mode
Many Farberware percolator models have a keep warm mode that switches on automatically after the coffee has finished brewing.
This feature keeps the coffee at an ideal serving temperature for a period of time. It prevents the brewed coffee from cooling down too quickly.
However, take care not to leave coffee sitting in the keep warm mode for too long.
As a general guideline, coffee can stay warm for:
- 15-20 minutes before flavors start to deteriorate
- 1 hour maximum before burning and bitterness occurs
Leaving coffee warmth for longer than an hour can scorch the brew, imparting bitter notes and an undesirable flavor.
The keep warm function uses lower heat to maintain temperature without actively percolating. But heat is still being applied over an extended period.
For the freshest taste, transfer the finished coffee into an insulated carafe after brewing. This preserves heat while removing the coffee from direct contact with heat.
When serving coffee immediately, the keep warm mode is very useful. But take care to not leave the percolator on this setting for more than an hour after brewing completes.
Periodically check on the coffee and turn off the keep warm mode once no longer needed. This prevents burning and overheating the brew.
Following these tips will keep your coffee hot while maintaining the optimal flavor from your Farberware percolator.
Some tips for optimal use of a Farberware percolator:
- Use a coarse grind size for your coffee beans. A fine grind can result in overextraction and bitter flavor. Look for a consistency similar to kosher salt.
- Always remove the coffee grounds basket and rinse out any leftover grounds after brewing. Leaving the grounds in can cause overextraction and bitterness.
- Don’t let coffee or grounds dry out inside the percolator between uses. This can lead to rancid flavors in your next pot. Always rinse thoroughly after use.
- Never immerse the base of the percolator in water when cleaning. The electrical components could short out and become damaged.
- Check the power cord for any frays or damage before use. Discontinue use if the cord is damaged in any way.
- Use care when handling the percolator when hot. The metal pieces like the basket and spreader get very hot. Use an oven mitt or towel when removing them after brewing.
- Don’t leave coffee sitting for hours in the percolator to “keep warm.” This can scorch the coffee overtime.
- Follow the user manual for any other safety guidelines or operating instructions specific to your model.
Following these tips will help you safely operate your Farberware percolator and achieve the best tasting coffee every time! Let me know if you would like me to expand on any of these tips.
How Much Coffee to Use in a Farberware Percolator
Using the proper coffee-to-water ratio is important for great tasting coffee from your percolator.
As a general guideline:
- For an 8-cup percolator, use 1 tablespoon of ground coffee per cup of water. So 8 tablespoons for an 8 cup pot.
- For a 12-cup percolator, use 2 tablespoons per cup. So 24 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) for a full 12 cup pot.
Many percolators also come with a measuring scoop. The standard percolator scoop holds 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. So:
- For an 8-cup pot, use 4 scoops of coffee.
- For a 12-cup pot, use 6 scoops.
When measuring coffee, lightly spoon it into the basket without packing or tamping down. Level off the top surface.
Be sure to use fresh, high-quality coffee beans. Freshness and the roast profile impact the flavor of the coffee. Grind the beans just before brewing.
Use a burr grinder to get a consistent coarse grind. The consistency is key for proper extraction. Avoid a fine powder-like grind.
Sticking to the recommended ratios and using a consistent coarse grind will help you dial in the perfect cup of percolator coffee.
- Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
- Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to…
How to Clean a Farberware Coffee Percolator
Keeping your Farberware percolator clean is important for both the longevity of the machine as well as the taste of your coffee. Here are tips for cleaning a percolator after each use as well as occasional deep cleaning:
Rinsing After Each Use
Get in the habit of rinsing out your percolator after each use. Here’s how:
- Unplug the percolator and allow it to cool slightly. Disassemble all parts including the spreader, basket, and tube.
- Empty any remaining coffee from the percolator chamber. Don’t leave old coffee sitting in the machine.
- Rinse the inside of the chamber with cool, fresh water. Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently wipe down the stainless steel walls.
- Remove the filter basket and rinse it under running water while scrubbing with a small brush. This removes any wet or damp grounds stuck to the mesh screen.
- Rinse the tube, spreader, and lid pieces. Use a bottle brush to clean inside the tube.
- Allow all parts to air dry fully before reassembling. Storing parts while still wet can lead to mold growth.
Periodic Deep Cleaning
Over time, mineral deposits from water and coffee oils can build up inside your percolator. Do a deep cleaning session every 2-3 months:
- Fill the percolator chamber about halfway with water and distilled white vinegar. The vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits.
- Let the mixture come up to a gentle boil for 3-5 minutes. This lets the steam loosen any residues.
- Dump out the vinegar solution and scrub the interior with a soft brush or sponge. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
- If needed, repeat the vinegar process to fully remove stubborn scale buildup.
- Rinse very thoroughly multiple times with fresh water to eliminate vinegar odor.
- Clean exterior surfaces with a damp soapy cloth. Take care not to get electrical areas wet.
- Allow the machine to fully air dry before using again.
Additional Tips of Cleaning Farberware Percolator
- Descale spray cleaners specifically made for coffee makers can be used instead of vinegar. Follow product instructions.
- For hard water areas, clean more frequently as the mineral scale builds up faster.
- Replace any badly stained or corroded parts that cannot be cleaned fully.
Regular cleaning keeps your coffee tasting fresh and prevents potential functioning issues.
Troubleshooting Common Issues of Farberware Percolator
Here are some common problems and how to fix them:
Weak or watery coffee
- Try using more ground coffee. Increase the amount by 1-2 tablespoons per cup.
- Switch to a finer grind size. This allows better extraction of flavors.
- Make sure the percolator is reaching a full rolling boil. Weak heat = weak coffee.
Bitter or overextracted coffee
- Use less ground coffee. Reduce the amount by 1-2 tablespoons per cup.
- Switch to a coarser grind size. This prevents overextraction.
- Don’t leave the percolator on “to keep warm” for more than 15-20 minutes.
Percolator won’t brew
- Check that the percolator is plugged in and the outlet is functioning.
- Descale mineral buildup following cleaning instructions.
- Make sure the tube is inserted properly into the percolator chamber.
- Contact the manufacturer if the machine still won’t start after troubleshooting.
- Add more water. The pump works harder with less water.
- Descale and remove any mineral deposits.
- Make sure the percolator is on a flat, level surface.
Coffee leaks or overflows
- Don’t overfill past the maximum fill line.
- Make sure the tube is fully inserted into the chamber.
- Check that the basket and spreader are properly assembled.
Farberware percolators are a classic and effective way to brew delicious coffee at home. With some technique, you can master your percolator for cafe-quality coffee.
The key points are using a coarse grind, following the proper coffee-to-water ratios, and cleaning regularly. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of your percolator is worth it for a great tasting brew.
Some of the benefits of Farberware percolators include:
- Quick brew time – around 1 minute per cup
- Strong, robust flavor from repeated water cycling
- Built to last from stainless steel construction
- Produces coffee with higher temperatures than drip machines
- Easy to use and maintain with some practice
Now that you know how to properly use your Farberware percolator, you can consistently make great coffee for years to come. Enjoy your morning brew
How much coffee do you use in a Farberware percolator?
The recommended coffee-to-water ratio depends on the capacity of your Farberware percolator. For an 8-cup size, use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water. So 16 tablespoons total for a full pot.
For a 12-cup percolator, use 3 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water. This equals 36 tablespoons or around 1 cup of ground coffee for a completely full pot.
It’s best to measure the coffee grounds using actual spoons or scoops, rather than estimating by volume. The scoops provided by Farberware are intended to hold 2 tablespoons of ground coffee.
Level off the measuring spoon or scoop to ensure you have the correct amount. Follow the ratio guidelines and proper measuring for the best brew every time.
What are some tips for using a Farberware percolator?
Use the correct amount of coffee, ensuring the water level is correct, cleaning the percolator regularly, and not leaving the coffee on the heat for too long.
How do I clean my Farberware percolator?
To clean your Farberware percolator, first disassemble it and wash all the parts in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry all the parts.
Can I use ground coffee or do I need to use whole beans?
You can use either ground coffee or whole beans in a Farberware percolator.
How do I know when my Farberware percolator is done brewing?
Brewing is complete when the percolating sound stops and the coffee is at the desired strength.